Save Norton Folgate campaigners to take fight to Court of Appeal

The Norton Folgate site buildings at risk. Photo: Spitalfields Trust
Battle on: heritage campaigners have resolved to fight last week’s High Court ruling on Norton Folgate. Photograph: Spitalfields Trust

The battle to save Norton Folgate will be taken to the Court of Appeal, after campaigners vowed to fight a High Court verdict giving the green light to the controversial development.

Conservation charity the Spitalfields Trust lost a court challenge in the High Court last week.

A judge ruled that Boris Johnson, the former London mayor, had acted legally by overruling Tower Hamlets Council’s decision to reject a scheme that would see 18th century houses demolished to make way for new offices, shops and apartments.

But the judgement acknowledged that a number of errors were made by the Greater London Authority (GLA) in their handling of the planning application, and the Spitalfields Trust believes these errors gives sufficient grounds for an appeal.

In a statement, the Spitalfields Trust claimed it had been “definitively established” that the GLA made errors.

“Errors were made by the GLA on the impact of Crossrail, on the cross-boundary effects of Crossrail, on the failure to take account of the Trust’s representations, on the statutory criteria for Mayoral intervention and on the premature sending of an email confirming the planning officer’s recommendation,” the statement said.

“The judge considered that each of these errors would not have made a difference to the take-over decision.

“The Trust disagrees. It contends that the errors need to be considered in their totality, and their significance tested by the Court of Appeal.”

Charles Gledhill, a trustee of Spitalfields Trust, said he was “optimistic” that the case would succeed.

“Although the judgement ruled against us there was sufficient encouragement in what the judge found to give us a case going forward,” he said.

Mr Gledhill added that he hoped change at City Hall would help their campaign: “Boris Johnson intervened in 20 or so cases and almost always found in favour of developers. We’ve had eight years of Boris and I don’t think Sadiq Khan’s the sort of person who will be doing that.

“We’re optimistic, we sense in general a changing of attitude in London towards these sort of developments. People are beginning to see that London is changing as a city and these huge developments are changing the tone of the city.

“This development completely tramples over a conservation area and it’s important because it’s symbolic for the future of the City. We’ve had support from a lot of areas and after the High Court ruling was delivered many people got in touch telling us not to give up the fight.”

1 Comment

  1. Francesca Fenn on Monday 16 May 2016 at 7:13 pm

    Don’t give up. Sadiq Khan seems to have more integrity in his little finger than Mr B Johnson can even conceive of. While there’s life there’s hope…


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